Monday, July 22, 2013

Review: (Winnipeg) Serving Bait to Rich People

by Edgar Governo

The problem with phrasing material in a show as advice is that it can create an adversarial relationship with the audience--no matter how much truth there is in what you have to say, you risk making your listeners feel like the enemy instead of sharing in something universal.

Stand-up comedian Alexa Fitzpatrick spends too much of her act offering "tips" on how to behave as a customer in a bar or restaurant based on her own past experiences, rather than using those experiences and anecdotes to reach beyond the audience members who can directly relate to working in such settings. The service industry and the weird permanent-holiday culture of Aspen, Colorado definitely provide a rich source of comedic material, but I preferred hearing about those absurdities to learning about all the things I could do wrong when I'm going out for a meal or drink.

It was clear that Fitzpatrick is still struggling to fully adapt this show to suit a Canadian crowd--some of her best and most dynamic moments came when she commented on a distinctly Winnipeg reaction to a joke or contrasted between attitudes in the United States and Canada--and perhaps some more tweaking along the way will help the structure of the show coalesce around those elements that everyone can relate to. I tend to think I'm pretty familiar with the flavour of American comedy, but it's possible the presentation here just wasn't to my taste.

Serving Bait to Rich People is at the Winnipeg Fringe

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